Filling your creative tank

Creativity can sometimes prove to be an allusive state of being. Sometimes we are so in it, ideas are flowing, things are working and we feel on top of the world and other times despite our best efforts we just can’t seem to get there.

So heres the thing, creative experts will tell you, how do you stay inspired? Well simply you show up anyway every single day, inspiration or not, You put pen to paper, brush to canvas, finger to photo clicker (is that a thing??) and you do the work. Even if there is nothing there and it is complete shit, you show up, because it is by showing up that you move forward.

I am 100% in agreement with this. In fact I know that many days I turn up and write complete crap, but some days what starts off as complete crap – often a sentence like ‘ I don’t know what to write or how to fill up this page…’ ends in paragraphs of writing that has something in it. Maybe not perfect but something.

That said I do think there is an argument for paying attention to how you fill up your creative tank, which often becomes a kin to the same question of how are you looking after yourself. For me looking after myself and creativity go hand in hand. Often because in fact creating and doing creative work is one of the ways I would consider myself to be looking after myself. But even in that we all have times where we need to fill the creative tank up.

But what does that really mean. Like all of these terms, they are nice ideas but often they fail to be tangible. So let’s make it tangible.

Are you feeling creatively tired or just a bit lacklustre? Great, (well not great, but I mean you have come to the right place so well done) try some of these and see what happens…

  1. Take yourself on an artist date
    I found this concept from ‘The Artists Way’ which is a must read if you are up for some creative exploration, but that’s an aside. The point of the artists date is to spend time with your creativity – find out what gets you excited and fills you up. Artist dates can happen whenever you want and can pretty much be whatever you want. The catch being you have to go by yourself. Just you and your creativity. So whether its wandering around a museum, going to a concert, taking a long walk, going to a market or whatever else lights you up go and spend a few hours doing it. Trust me this strategy is a keeper.
  1. Try a different medium (maybe have a go at one of these projects)
    Often we can get used to doing the same sort of activity to explore our creativity. But when things are getting stuck why not try a different medium. Are you a writer? Then grab a camera, a designer? Try sculpting, A knitter? Why not try picking up a pen. Whatever it is have a go at seeing if you can play out your idea in a different medium.

  1. Seek inspiration from a new place
    Travel seems to be a universal bucket filler, going somewhere and doing something different with new people, new sights, smells and sounds can spark the greatest of ideas and give you that inspiration you need for something new. However it doesn’t always need to be a great trip across the world. Maybe just try going to a new place in your city, or take a road trip to a different part of the country. Or simply go and sit in a different cafe and watch. New experiences can be found anywhere if you are looking for them.

  1. Go for a walk
    I don’t know why I put this at number four, because for me it is without a doubt the number one way to fill up my creative tank. I try and get out everyday even if its only for 10 mins, because time alone with you steps opens things up. It allows a different kind of energy, one you can’t usually find sitting behind your computer screen. SO get out and look around you. Especially upwards. Great things happen when you get a new perspective.

  1. Take a rest – yes, have an actual nap
    I think is is pretty self explanatory right? Just nap. Close your eyes and sleep. Its a pretty easy way to restore yourself.

  1. Go out and speak to people about ideas, or new projects
    Depending on where you sit on the extrovert/introvert scale spending time with people discussing ideas can be a great way to raise more energy and find new inspiration. It doesn’t’ have to be loads of people, it could just be one. Whether they are your ideas or someone else’s sitting and chatting you will find new avenues open up for you and maybe even new collaborations

Hopefully that is a start for you. Clearly this list isn’t anywhere exhaustive, but hopefully it is a start. I would love to hear how you amp up your creative powers. Let me know…

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